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Turning The Tables: Answering Your Questions!

Vintage photograph of a recording studio

Since I decided to start blogging about my biggest passion in February, I've been so fortunate. I've got to write about the sport and art I love and also interview some fabulous people I honestly never thought I'd have the chance to. From Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner to Anita Hartshorn to Doug Mattis to Rory Flack Burghart and many, many more skaters I first saw and adored on television to stars of today and tomorrow, I'm just blown away but what a cool experience interviewing people in skating is. I learn something new from every perspective and experience, and that's why I think there is such value in sharing everyone's stories. If we're not learning and seeing that EVERYONE's contribution is valuable, then we are not seeing the bigger picture. I recently invited you to ask me YOUR questions via Facebook and Twitter and I'm happy to answer some of your questions. I don't pretend to know everything, because I don't, as you'll see in the first question I was asked, but if I can find out, I'm happy to! Without you reading what I'm writing, I'm just talking to myself so I really appreciate all of the kind words and feedback I've received from all of you since I started blogging. So without further ado, some answers to your questions:

Q From Muffy Brennan on Facebook: "I'd like to know P. Chan's music to his LP this yr?"

A: Thanks for the question, Muffy! I did some very light digging and found out that Patrick plans to keep his "Elegie In E-Flat Minor" short program. As for his free skate, in a March 18 interview with PJ Kwong, Patrick stated that his new free skate is "a favorite piece of mine". Keeping in mind this is an Olympic season and this is Patrick Chan, I'm not expecting to him to go in any outrageous direction. I'm expecting he'll likely play it safe. David Wilson is choreographing his free skate so you know it's going to be 'put together' and certainly excellently structured. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess something like "La Tosca", but who knows? I'm sure we'll all know soon - and I'll make a point of announcing it when I found out.

Q: From @sport_folio on Twitter: "I don't know a thing about your skating career, how far did you get?"

A: Thanks for the question! I wasn't going to any Olympics, that's for sure. I started skating WAY later than most people did and I was deathly afraid of jumping, so when I skated I competed mainly in "artistic" or "interpretive" events, which are/were judged on your ability to interpret your music and portray a theme moreso than jumps, a lot like professional skating or theatre on ice, only solo. I was always more interested in interpreting and expressing music and the "in betweens" than jumps - spirals, hydroblading, etc. I also performed a program every year in our club's ice show, which was always a lot of fun. I competed at Nova Scotia Provincials three times in artistic, finishing 2nd in artistic the first year, 3rd in freestyle and 2nd in artistic the second year and then, the final year (2000) I finished 1st in artistic, skating to "Out Of Africa" - loved that music and program! Being a LOT older than a lot of the skaters I was competing against, it got a little demoralizing and awkward and I really didn't want to be a 17 year old competing against 10 year olds anymore. I also got certified as a Skate Canada judge while I was skating and sometimes judged and skated in the same competitions (obviously not in the same events). It was definitely an odd feeling to be lacing up my skates to go on the ice and getting death stares from little Susie's parents who were upset I put her 9th in the junior bronze ladies competition. I was really fortunate to have some really amazing coaches when I skated - the person who first taught me to skate was Susan Tuck, who ran the recreational program at our club for well over a decade and was/is a really amazing person. I worked with another coach for a year as well, but my main coach throughout my skating was Katy Leask (now Katy Martins) who was amazing because she really had a knack for choreography, a great sense of humor and "got" me. After Provincials in 2000, I went off to university, competed in 2 smaller competitions (one in Adult Artistic) and then the last time I performed was at my club's ice show in 2001. I skated to Emm Gryner's "You Do Something To Me" (which is haunting) and had my best skate ever actually. That's the note I chose to stop on, a positive one.

Q from Jenny Hall Engleka on Facebook: "If you could have lunch with three skaters (living or dead) who would it be? And what would you eat?"

A: First of all, amazing question, Jenny! Second of all, what a difficult question to answer. As much as I'd love to sit and chow down with some of my all time favourites like Liz Manley, Anita Hartshorn and Frank Sweiding, Katarina Witt, Robin Cousins, The Duchesnay's, Laetitia Hubert... the list would honestly go on forever. Good thing I love to cook and eat I guess. I'd honestly have to go with three of the most compelling and fascinating people that havereally so deeply impacted the sport and I think I'd have a million questions for. One of them sadly isn't with us anymore: the brilliant John Curry. He really transformed professional skating and ice theatre and was not only a gorgeous skater but a fascinating person who so fully lived his life. The other two would be Toller Cranston and Dick Button - two brilliant minds and gifted skaters who richly influenced ISU eligible AND professional skating. They are both incredibly knowledgeable and very funny people. What would we eat? Something out of Brian Boitano's cookbook. It would only be appropriate. Either that or Fricot, which is a traditional Acadian (Nova Scotian) stew that can contain more than one meat at the same time (whatever's available) - so sow and cow - Salchow, get it? Good thing I have a day job. But in all the seriousness in the world, here's a recipe: It's delicious. I'm sure John would have - and Toller and Dick would - love it!

Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating. Over ten years, the blog has featured over a thousand free articles covering all aspects of the sport's history, as well as four compelling in-depth features. To read the latest articles, follow the blog on FacebookTwitterPinterest and YouTube. If you enjoy Skate Guard, please show your support for this archive by ordering a copy of figure skating reference books "The Almanac of Canadian Figure Skating", "Technical Merit: A History of Figure Skating Jumps" and "A Bibliography of Figure Skating":